A Banned Leonardo DiCaprio Movie He Definitely Doesn't Want You to See

A Banned Leonardo DiCaprio Movie He Definitely Doesn't Want You to See
Image credit: globallookpress

Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio has starred in some of the biggest movies of all time. But like most actors, he has some early material he'd rather you didn't see.

While many celebs must suffer reruns of some of their pre-fame embarrassments, however, Don's Plums has been kept off our screens for almost 30 years.

So, what is Don's Plums and why is DiCaprio so keen to keep it hidden?

The story begins in the early 90s. A young filmmaker from Canada, Dale Wheatley, moved to LA and got in with a group of aspiring actors that included future stars, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire.

The group decided to make a film together and, after some disagreement, settled on a short film called The Saturday Night Club – a dramatisation of their lived experience in LA.

Filming began in 1995 with 16mm black and white film and just the bare bones of a script. The idea being that the actors would ad-lib much of the dialogue.

But there were problems from the get-go. DiCaprio was unimpressed with co-star Amber Benson's performance. His solution? He (allegedly) used his licence to ad-lib to verbally abuse her until she quit.

Those who have seen the movie will remember her throwing a shoe and storming out. And apparently, that was genuine.

Filming took place over just a couple of days, after which DiCaprio moved on to his next project.

However, months later, further footage was filmed that predominantly featured Maguire. With 30 hours of footage, the group (minus DiCaprio) set about rearranging it into a feature-length film.

When DiCaprio heard about the plans, he was against the idea. By this time, he was making waves in the industry but wasn't yet what you'd call a star. A poorly shot film with no script could have curtailed his career before it took off.

Maguire was also opposed. Although it's said his objection came after watching it.

Nonetheless, the new cut went ahead and was presented to Jerry Meadors at Paramount Pictures. Meadors knew how to get Hollywood tongues wagging. He generated interest in Don's Plums and arranged an industry screening date in the summer of 1996.

Fuming, DiCaprio attended the screening and was pleasantly surprised with its positive reception. Soon, Miramax was ready to submit an offer to buy and distribute it.

But Di Caprio's star was beginning to shine high above Tinseltown. And the screening was blocked from the Sundance Festival by his agents.

Legal wranglings followed which left the film's release in limbo and Dave Wheatley with an overall profit of just $180 for all his efforts.

Don's Plums was screened at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2001. But for now, that looks like it might be its final outing for some time.

Particularly as the rights are owned by the father of filmmaker Tawd Beckman (the original producer) who, presumably, is just as keen to keep it under wraps.